Losing a pet is, for most pet owners, akin to losing a family member and while many “non-pet” people don’t understand the extent of pet loss grief, here at Leesville Animal Hospital we understand. Today we want to talk about some of the steps that you can take to help you to cope with the grief of losing your pet.
Coping with Pet Loss Grief
When you lose a pet the feeling of grief can be debilitating, but there are a number of resources out there that can help you to cope with your grief and today we want to take a look at those.
– The first thing to remember is that it is okay to feel grief. We all feel grief in different ways and whether you choose to cry, hit the gym or volunteer at your local shelter, don’t allow anyone to tell you that you are not grieving correctly. There is no correct way to grieve the loss of a loved one, take care of yourself and allow yourself to feel the emotions awakened by your loss.
– Seek external support. There are a number of support systems that can help you to connect with others who are experienced in coping with pet loss as well as those who are in the same place as you currently. These support systems can be found in the form of local support groups as well as online support groups.
– Celebrate your pet’s life. One way that many pet owners cope with the loss of their pet is to reflect upon the good times that they had with their pet, many create photo albums or scrapbooks and others make donations in their pets name to local animal charities.
– Share your love by adopting another pet. This is not the best option for everyone, but some pet owners truly believe that their pet would celebrate the fact that their owner is not lonely and that they are sharing their love with an animal that would otherwise have had no family. As a popular internet poem says, the only thing a pet can give when they leave us is the love they leave behind. For some people adopting another pet is something that comes in time, for others it comes immediately, NEVER allow someone to tell you that it is too soon or too late to share your love with another pet, how you cope with your pet’s loss is up to you, there is no right or wrong.
– Read. There are many books available that cover the topic of pet loss and for many people being able to learn how to cope with their grief in the privacy of their own home is more appealing.
– Give yourself time. When you first lose a pet it can feel as though the grief will never let up. Give yourself time and allow yourself to feel your grief and know that in time the pain of your loss will ease and you will be able to focus more on the good times that you shared with your beloved family pet.